There are concerns a “maxed-out” sewage treatment plant will ‘create a stink’ at this year’s Irish Open in Ballyliffin.
Inishowen’s County Councillors have proposed an “immediate” meeting with Irish Water to find a solution to the “urgent” issue ahead of the major sporting event, which will be hosted by Ballyliffin Golf Club in July.
Thousands of golf fans, tourists and the world’s media are expected to descend on Ballyliffin, Inishowen and Derry during the tournament.
Speaking at a meeting of the Inishowen Municipal District this week, County Councillor Bernard McGuinness raised his concern over the village’s sewerage (waste water) treatment plant, which he said is “maxed out and stinks out the village during the summer.”
He questioned whether it would be able to cope with the numbers visiting the area for the event.
“I propose we meet immediately with (national water utility) Irish Water to see what action they’re taking on this.” said Colr. McGuinness.
“This isn’t something that can be done in a week or 10 days. Out of everything that needs done in Ballyliffin before July this is the most serious. The treatment plant is maxed out during the summer. That’s before we even have the Irish Open. This is one thing we need to deal with and it’s very important we find out what works Irish Water intend to do.”
He added: “If the existing plant is a problem, then what’s it going to be like the week of the Irish Open? What will the subsequent fall-out be if there’s a problem that week? I feel we should seek an immediate meeting with Irish Water and perhaps the local committee in Ballyliffin to address it.”
Colr. McGuinness said while there were a number of issues with sewage treatment plans across the Inishowen peninsula, the one at Ballyliffin is “the most urgent at the moment.”
Meetings have been held in Ballyliffin between officials, elected representatives and a local committee on what works are needed in the village ahead of the Open in July.
Among the recommendations are a footpath running from the village to the golf club, as well as road surfacing and landscaping.
Colr. McGuinness said a comprehensive plan needed to be drawn up before a funding proposal is presented to central Government.
He said: “We need to support the people of Ballyliffin in every way. We need to know what it is going to cost so we can put the pressure on for the money we need. Remember, this is the Irish Open, it’s not the Ballyliffin Open or Donegal Open, it’s Irish.